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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  March 29, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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more at 6:00. >> see you at 6:00. >> caption colorado, llc >> hill: tonight, keeping up the pressure on qaddafi. with new air strikes and a diplomatic push, we talk to the president. >> the people around him are starting to recognize that their options are limited and their days are numbered. >> hill: i'm erica hill. also tonight women versus wal- mart. it could be the biggest gender discrimination lawsuit ever. but will the supreme court let them sue? outrage. when a drug designed to prevent premature births goes from $20 a shot to $1,500. and it's not called a broken heart for nothing. new research reveals why breaking up literally hurts so bad. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
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>> hill: good evening, katie is off tonight. it is rare to have so many world powers speak with one voice. but today in london four ministers from 40 countries agreed it is time for libya's moammar qaddafi to step down. the ministers also pledged to help the opposition form an interim government and to provide more humanitarian aid to libya. at the same time, u.s. and coalition partners kept up the military attacks, launching 22 cruise missile on targets in tripoli. qaddafi's forces, however, are still better armed than the opposition and today they have the rebels on the run. they were forced to retreat just as they prepared to attack qaddafi's hometown of surt. instead, though, they were pushed back more than 25 miles, and not just by the military but by civilians who remain loyal to qaddafi.
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mandy clark reports tonight from the ever-shifting front line. >> reporter: an attack by qaddafi forces took rebels by surprise at bin jawad. they fought hard with everything they had but were forced back. and even while fleeing came under fire. they had originally retreated to the town because of a new threat rebels here say it wasn't just government forces but also residents firing from their homes that forced them to pull back. they confiscated these weapons handed out by qaddafi forces from locals who were loyal to the regime. how many weapons did you find in total? >> reporter: another problem the anti-qaddafi forces are facing: something they call war tourists. >> reporter: but the main worry for the rebel leaders is weaponry. they say they're outgunned and are asking coalition forces to arm them with more missiles and mortars. >> ( translated ): they've got
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heavier weapons, heavier than the weapons that we have. >> reporter: allied air strikes have removed most of qaddafi's big guns. it's now up to the rebels to win the ground battle, but it's proving the real test for this civilian army. mandy clark, cbs news, ras lanuf >> hill: earlier today, i spoke with president obama here in new york. he has made it clear from the beginning he wants qaddafi out, but what if he doesn't go? >> the noose has tightened around him and we are now going to be moving into a phase where having maintained the no-fly zone, continuing to protect the libyan people we've got to ratchet up our diplomatic and our political pressure on him so that at some point he makes a decision to leave. >> hill: are there also discussions and even perhaps meetings at all with people in moammar qaddafi's camp? >> well, i think that qaddafi's camp, people around him, are starting to recognize that their
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options are limited and their days are numbered. and so they are probably reaching out to a range of different people. but that information may not have filtered to qaddafi yet and i think it's too early for us to start having formal negotiations. qaddafi knows exactly what he needs to do to stop the constant bombardment that he's under and it may at some point shift to him figuring out how to negotiate an exit, but i don't think we're at that point yet. >> hill: the supreme allied commander for nato says today that there are flickers of al qaeda and hezbollah amongst these rebels. how do we know what their end goal is? and how do we know they won't, in fact, turn on the u.s. and our allies? >> well, first of all i think it's important to note that the people we've met with have been fully vetted.
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so we have a clear sense of who they are and so far they're saying the right things and most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors, people who appear to be credible. that doesn't mean that all the people who... among all the people who opposed qaddafi there might not be elements that are unfriendly to the united states and our interests. and that's why i think it's important for us not to jump in with both feet but to carefully consider what are the goals of the opposition, what kind of transition do they want to bring about inside of libya? because our main concern here is the libyan people as well as stability in the region. >> hill: can you give us an idea of what some of those goals are beyond just removing qaddafi from power? >> well so far, as i've said, they've said the right thing. they'd like to see free and fair elections. they believe that human rights need to be respected inside of libya. and so if you look at the documents that they've prepared and have presented, i think that they are on the right track. it is important for us to have some modesty also about that process in libya. ultimately libya's governance is going to be up to the libya people.
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>> hill: you've mentioned the region, there's obviously so much focus on the region at this point. from everything we've seen over the last couple of months, there's renewed focus, though, on syria. what would it take, what circumstances in particular, would lead to direct involvement from the u.s. in syria? >> we'll monitor the situation, and to the extent that we think we can have an impact that's positive inside of syria or anywhere else in the region we will do so. but when it comes to military intervention, i think the circumstances in which we start getting engaged in military operations have to be very narrowly drawn, and that's what i tried to communicate last night. >> hill: you can see more of our interview with president obama tomorrow on the "early show" and also at the president did touch on that volatile situation in syria. protests against the hard-line president bashar assad have been growing. today assad's cabinet quit and he hinted more changes may be coming. foreign journalists have been barred from syria. allen pizzey is reporting
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tonight from the syria/jordan border. >> reporter: tens of thousands turned out for what were termed loyalty to the nation rallies. the government said it gave people time off to attend, opponents claim workers were told they'd be fired and students would fail exams if they didn't show up. at the same time, state t.v. announced that the entire cabinet had resigned. the response to protests in which more than 60 people have been killed and hundreds injured trying to end 50 years of repressive rule. >> this would be a sea change, i think, and this is where the egyptian revolution did not do. i think this is where i see it's more important to watch changes in syria than any other place. >> reporter: the reason is simple: iran is syria's closest ally, which makes it a major problem for u.s. policy. syria is accused of providing money and weapons to islamic militant groups, including hezbollah and hamas. both are a threat to israel and anything resembling a middle east peace process. in this part of the board, it's often difficult to tell where one country ends and another
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begins. this is jordan. the buildings on the hill behind me are in syria whose influence crosses many borders. some go so far as to call it a spider in the middle of a web of regional tension and conflict. in an effort to appease unprecedented opposition, assad is scheduled to announce what he called major reforms tomorrow. allen pizzey, cbs news, on the syria/jordan border. >> hill: meantime, back here in this country, the supreme court heard arguments today on whether a huge class action suit against wal-mart should be allowed to proceed. that suit alleges female workers were discriminated against at more than 3,400 wal-mart and sam's club stores. chief legal correspondent jan crawford tells us the plaintiffs have been seeking their day in court for more than a decade. >> reporter: it is a journey betty dukes never imagined she would make. >> i started working at $5 an hour. >> from part-time cashier in a small town wal-mart to the steps
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of a supreme court. dukes is now the face of what could be the biggest discrimination case in history. duke says wal-mart supervisors cheated her on raises and repeatedly passed her over for promotions. >> it was on numerous occasions that i literally saw men being promoted at a greater rate than women. >> reporter: dukes and six other female wal-mart employees sued the company for sex discrimination. their lawyers then upped the ante. in the supreme court today, they said wal-mart has a company-wide policy of discrimination and that some 1.5 million women who've worked for the company should have to join a huge class action lawsuit. but a majority of the justices were openly skeptical. justice anthony kennedy-- often the critical swing vote-- said "i'm just not sure what the unlawful policy is." the three women justices asked the most questions, but they didn't exactly embrace the massive lawsuit.
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justice ruth bader ginsburg told dukes' lawyer she saw a very serious problem with a class action asking "how would courts figure out the amount of money every female worker would get? wal-mart insists it doesn't discriminate. >> what's wrong with this case is that three plaintiffs are trying to represent more than 1.5 million associates. >> reporter: betty dukes disagrees. if you have an issue with wal- mart, why not just sue wal-mart on your own? >> wal-mart is an 800-pound gorilla in the room. individually wal-mart knows i have no chance at all. >> reporter: and individually each case could cost wal-mart a few thousand dollars. but if 1.5 million women are included together, the case could be worth billions. erica? >> hill: that is why it is so important as we watch for this. jan crawford, thanks. many economists will tell you the recession ended nearly two years ago. when it comes to the housing
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market, however, the tough times continue. a report out today finds home prices fell in 19 out of 20 big cities in january. they are off more than 30% since 2006 and in four of those cities-- atlanta, las vegas, detroit, and cleveland-- home values are at their lowest in 11 years. this is correspondent rebecca jarvis who is here with more. rebecca, is this essentially a double chip? >> it looks like that. we are certainly close. prices looked like they hit rock bottom, erica, in april of 2009. but for the last seven months they have declined again. and that technically speaking is what makes for a double dip. >> hill: so why is this happening? >> you basically have three primary factors here. first of all: supply. there's just too much of in the market. too many homes sitting on the market. a number of them are foreclosures and foreclosures are a huge problem because it could take up to nine years just to get them off the market. that's dragging down prices overall. as is the fact that unemployment is still a huge concern overall for this economy. still you have unemployment at
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8.9% with a number of people looking at shaky job market, they're not interested in buying new homes. and a bunch of people are also saying "i'm not going to relocate for a new job," therefore they're not going to buy another home, either. lastly, the mortgage market is a concern, because what you have right now is a mortgage market that is still very constrained. most people can't get great terms on their mortgages unless you pay 20% down and you have near perfect credit. so a lot of people who actually have the ability to buy are going the cash route. a third of all the buyers on the market have actually bought their homes with cash. but the bottom line here, erica, economists don't think that the housing market is going to come back for at least two more years. and when they do, they think it they don't see that recovery, and when they do, they think it will be modest. >> hill: need some patience. all right, rebecca, thanks. in japan today, the prime minister said his nation is on maximum alert because of the
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crippled nuclear plant. today two workers were soaked by radioactive water that somehow got through their waterproof suits. they were decontaminated, they were not seriously hurt. meantime, a report, though, came out today that plant officials were warned as far back as 2007 that a tsunami could overwhelm the plant's flood defenses. those officials failed to act. safety procedures are also under review at u.s. nuclear plants, but former employees at one plant in california tell us their warnings were ignored. that's ahead. an up next, the maker of a drug to prevent premature births delivers a massive price hike. h. yeah, it's me, big brother. put the remote down and listen. [ male announcer ] this intervention brought to you by niaspan. so you cut back on the cheeseburgers and stopped using your exercise bike as a coat rack. that's it? you're done? i don't think so. you told me your doctor's worried about plaque clogging your arteries --
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as unusual thigh bone fractures have been reported rarely. with atelvia, the mornings are all mine.. talk to your doctor about new atelvia. >> hill: for decades, some pregnant women have been using a hormone treatment to prevent premature childbirth. 20 weeks of injections that used to cost about $400. after receiving f.d.a. approval as the drug makena last month, those costs suddenly ballooned to $30,000. wyatt andrews explains what happened. >> reporter: to the henderson family, it's the drug that produced a miracle. every week, shawnice henderson who was at risk of delivering prematurely took an injection of the hormone progesterone. >> without the injections that i think she absolutely would not be here. i think this pregnancy would
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have resulted in a much different manner, something a little bit more tragic. >> reporter: but the price of the drug is also much different. after years of doctors giving progesterone shots informally, the f.d.a. hoping to maintain quality officially approved the injections under the brand name makena, after which the drug's owner, k.v. pharmaceuticals, raised the price from $20 to $1,500 per injection which is $30,000 per pregnancy. dr. helene landy, chief of obstetrics at georgetown university hospital, calls the price jump "price gouging." >> i think they're pulling on the heart strings of families and trying to recoup money that they shouldn't be able to recoup. >> reporter: this kind of price increase is typically justified when a drug company either invents the drug or does the safety study. in this case, k.v. pharmaceuticals did neither. in fact, the safety study that was done was funded by u.s. taxpayers. several members of congress have
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threatened investigations, including senator amy klobuchar of minnesota. >> they just had the ability to do it because they had a corner on the market. >> reporter: k.v. pharmaceuticals would not speak on camera, but in a statement to cbs news the company says it plans to give the drug away to low-income patients. on pricing the company says it will "address the concerns raised." wyatt andrews, cbs news, washington. >> hill: coming up, the u.s. nuclear plant where employees say they were told to keep quiet about their safety concerns. of rich, organic ingredients,x and miracle-gro plant food. just mix it in. and turn bad soil into great soil. helps plants grow twice as big. instead of holding 'em back, they'll leap ahead. miracle-gro garden soil. and moisture control garden soil.
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one a day men's. >> hill: the crisis unfolding in japan has put a spotlight on nuclear safety in this country. but today in a senate hearing, a top federal regulator said it will have no effect on the relicensing of the 104 nuclear plants in the u.s. and that includes the san onofre plant in southern california. terry mccarthy reports it is a plant with a history of problems-- problems that some whistle-blowers claim were ignored for years. >> reporter: the explosions at the fukushima nuclear complex in japan terrified people as far away as san clemente, california, home to the san onofre nuclear plant. >> japan is an exact perfect example of what can happen. we are less than two miles away red we're scared. >> reporter: the 28-year-old plant is just five miles from an earthquake fault. like fukushima, it has a long history of management problems and safety violations including faulty diesel generators,
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falsified fire watch reports and inoperable emergency batteries. >> the thing that was occurring was there was very little oversight. >> reporter: mike mason worked at san onofre for 30 years, rick busnardo for 25. they were in charge of making canisters to store spent nuclear fuel, one of the biggest worries right now at the japan plant. in 2008, they discovered an employee was welding the canisters incorrectly. >> potentially there could be some leak of radiation? >> potentially it could have failed to contain the fuel rod like it was supposed to. >> reporter: he knew he was doing wrong? >> he knew he was doing wrong. so we immediately identified that to our senior management. >> reporter: what did they say? >> they weren't really receptive of it. >> reporter: mason and busnardo were so concerned they took
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their concerns to the nuclear regulatory commission. they weren't alone, by 2009, complaints from workers hit ten times the average for the industry. >> these plants are very old... >> reporter: james chambers, a 27-year veteran from san onofre helped ensuring the plant was operating within safety guidelines. he says management pressured him to stop making complaints. >> if the workers at the power plant are afraid to tell the truth, that jeopardizes the health and safety of the public. >> reporter: things got so bad here at san onofre that in march of last year federal regulators sent an official letter to the plant stating their concern that workers had the perception they could not even raise safety issues without fear of retaliation. mason and busnardo retired claiming unfair retaliation. they're currently appealing a labor department decision that found no violation of their whistle-blower rights. southern california edison, the utility that runs the plant, declined to be interviewed, but in a written statement said: is san onofre safe? >> i don't think it's safe as it could be. i think that what makes a plant safe is how a corporation and how management deal with it.
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>> reporter: federal regulators tell cbs news san onofre is safe and say the plant has made improvements in its management style, but they want to see more, something local residents will be watching very closely. terry mccarthy, cbs news, san clemente, california. >> hill: up next, love hurts, and we've got the science to prove it. prove it. for twenty-four hours. she uses one exelon patch daily for the treatment of mild to moderate alzheimer's symptoms. [ female announcer ] it cannot change the course of the disease. hospitalization and rarely death have been reported in patients who wore more than one patch at a time. the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers who take certain other medicines
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to reduce your stroke risk. atrial fibrillation can cause a blood clot to form here, in your heart, that can break free and go straight to your brain, where it can cause a serious stroke. strokes that are twice as likely to be deadly or severely disabling as other types of strokes. but if you're one of the 2 million people who have atrial fibrillation, there's never been a better time to talk to your doctor. because you and your doctor can choose from different kinds of medicines to help prevent a stroke. for a free interactive book, call 1-877-afib-stroke, or log-on to and with this valuable information in your hand, talk to your doctor. homeowners. the threat that could make things a lot worse. next on cbs 5 no ids today
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>> hill: apparently neil sedaka had it right: breaking up is hard to do. and maybe a lot harder on us than we first thought. a new study says romantic heart break can actually result in real physical pain. ben tracy lets us down easy. >> reporter: the santa monica pier is often overrun with flocks of lovebirds. they do a lot of this. >> there's, like, no words for it really to explain. you know that it's love. >> reporter: but lakyta jones knows there are words when it ends. have you ever been dumped? >> yes. >> reporter: what did that feel like? >> heartbreaking. >> reporter: most of us have felt the pain. >> the gut punch. that's classic, man. you don't actually have to get hit to feel it. >> you feel like you're hyperventilating. >> just sick. like you just got punched in the stomach real hard. >> reporter: science is now trying to explain why getting our feelings hurt actually physically hurts.
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so researchers rounded up 40 people who had been broken up with in the past six months. in one test they touched them with a hot probe to make them feel physical pain and then in another test they made them focus on a picture of their ex and think about their breakup. the very same area of their brains was activated whether they were in actual physical pain or the emotional distress of being rejected. and researchers now think heartache has a purpose. >> there's a lot of evidence which indicates that having good social relationships is paramount to health. so when we're alone, we experience physical pain and that's a cue to say "time to get things back on track." >> reporter: and that's what lakyta did. >> hopefully soon to be engaged. ( laughs ). >> reporter: very good! so you still believe in love. >> yes, love is out there. >> reporter: it might hurt... >> but it's worth the pain. >> reporter: ben tracy, cbs news, santa monica. >> hill: worth the pain. that is the "cbs evening news." for katie couric, i'm erica hill. i'll see you tomorrow morning on the "early show."
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have a good night. [ music ] you're watching cbs 5 eyewitness news in high definition. [ music ] >> damaged homes and blocked roads. while the sun is out, the toll from the rain continues to mount, from hercules to morgan hill. latest players in the bonds' perjury trial. more baseball players. their tales of drug use and why even the giants couldn't tell you barry bonds' exact weight. and a 150-pound cat cornered in a bay area neighborhood. why the stand-off had to end with gunfire. good evening i'm dana king. >> and i'm ken bastida. right now city lead ares and hercules are trying to decide how to respond to a massive landslide happening along carson way. so far four homes are red tagged and another are threatened. they are standing live with soei


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